What do Homeschoolers do after Graduation?

By Dr. Howard Richman


Will homeschool graduates change the world as many homeschool advocates hope?  Or will  homeschool failures end up on  welfare or in jail as a public school principal recently predicted in a national magazine?


The answers to these questions may not be known for some time.  However, the results of our largest survey of homeschool graduates, so far,  suggest that they are on the path toward success, not failure. 


Just before Christmas we sent out surveys to the parents of the 839 homeschoolers who graduated with PHAA (PA Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency) diplomas from 1991 through 1998.  At press time we had received 352 of these back.  In addition to asking the parents what their children had done during each school year since graduation, we also asked them if they had any advice to share with other homeschooling parents.  Here’s what we found out...


How many go to College?

While there have been earlier surveys showing that half of homeschool graduates go to college immediately after graduation, this is the first of our surveys to follow up and determine how many go to college over the four years after graduation.  Turns out that 3/4ths of the homeschool graduates go to college or trade school during their first 4 years after graduation. About 10% of these attended trade schools and the other 90% attended colleges.


Where are the Older Grads Now?

Previous surveys have shown what those just out of high school do; this is our first survey with enough older graduates to give us an idea of what those who graduated more than four years ago are doing.  We had responses to our survey by the parents of 37 of those who graduated from 1991 through 1994.

·         9 (24%) are still attending college at the undergraduate level.

·         4 (11%) are in graduate school (studying macrobiology, elementary education, engineering, and medicine).

·         3 (8%) are self-employed.  One is in partnership with his father in a family construction business, one is in a worship band, and the other started her own house-cleaning business and has to turn away work because of being so in demand.

·         17  (46%) are working for others.  These include a staff assistant for Senator Rick Santorum, a lightroom controller at Sight and Sound Theater, a research analyst for the PA State Association of Township Supervisors, an elementary teacher, an ordering clerk, a computer analyst, two mechanics, a maintenance person who was just promoted to supervisor, a cosmetologist who is also starting her own cosmetology business, a carpenter, an overhead-door installer, and a soldier in the Air Force.

·         The other 4 (11%) are all women. One is a homemaker who got married in ’97 and now has a new baby girl, one is a missionary and student traveling in England, and the other two just graduated from college.


When do they  get Married?

This is the first survey with enough older graduates to get an idea of when homeschoolers get married.  The graph below shows the number of students in each of PHAA’s graduation classes who are now married.  It appears that very few of the graduates of 1996, 1997, and 1998 are now married, but that many got married during their fourth year after graduation.   By the way, thus far there are no divorces reported for homeschool graduates, though one of our graduates has separated from his wife.


Practical Advice from Parents

The most interesting part of our survey was the advice that parents gave in response to our question, “Do you have any advice for current homeschooling parents in light of your graduate’s experience since graduation?”  Here are some of the nuggets of practical advice:


Find Apprenticeships for Your Student

Several parents suggested apprenticeships for students, especially for the student who is not bound for college.  Here is what various parents wrote:


Don’t Push Child Into College Before They are Ready

Several parents wrote about mistakes they had made pushing kids before they were ready:


Why Homeschoolers Do Well

Parents also shared some of the homeschooling advantages that have become evident since their student graduated.  Many parents commented (and our 1996 survey found) that homeschooled students do very well in college, usually attaining a very high Grade Point Average. Here are comments from parents about why homeschoolers do so well:


Advice for Parents

And last of all, some words for parents from ones who have been there:

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